Date: 9/25/19 10:35 pm
From: Glen Tepke <g.tepke...>
Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Rare Birds on MBB
I agree with Kent, though I think eBird has a higher proportion of
erroneous reports (before reviewers clean up the mess) than MBB
does.┬ Chaser beware!┬ And I also want to add my thanks to Phil and
Todd.


Glen Tepke

Oakland/Santa Cruz


On 9/25/2019 4:43 PM, Kent Johnson wrote:

I think putting the daily ebird reports from Monterey, Santa Cruz, and
San Benito Counties on MBB is an excellent┬ idea. Some of the
southern California listserves already include ebird reports for their
areas. People can act on what they think of the likelihood of any
particular observation being accurate the same as for any other
reports on MBB.
Thanks to┬ Phil for keeping MBB going, and many, many thanks to Todd
for doing so for so many years.

Kent Johnson Boulder Creek

---------------------------------------------------------------------

From: <mbbirds...> <mbbirds...> on behalf of
L.T. Jaeger <ltjaeger...>
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 1:16 PM
To: MBB <mbbirds...>
Subject: Re: [MBBIRDS] Rare Birds on MBB┬ Happy to see these
thoughtful responses.

Totally agree that MBB is about more than rarities; always has been;
always should be.

All options have pros and cons and limitations. The goal is to embrace
available technologies and keep MBB relevant. Hopefully some good will
come of this discussion.

Clay



> On Sep 25, 2019, at 11:49 AM, Earl Lebow <hawkowl...>
wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I am thrilled that Clay has initiated this conversation and that Don
and Phil are weighing in on this. I agree with Phil that MBB is for
more than Rare Bird reports but there have been fewer and fewer of
those over the years and Monterey is not the only omission. I have
noticed eBird reports from Santa Cruz that do not make it to MBB. The
plus of MBB in this regard is that reports can be in real time so that
those interested in rarities can know immediately if something has
appeared and can also receive real time updates. Right now Monterey
Birders use a Whats App messaging program to inform each other of
local rarities. According to Brian Sullivan at his talk Saturday night
that is open to anyone who wants to join. Santa Cruz birders could
also have their own Whats App program(open to anyone) to report
rarities immediately. Of course that could mean the death knell for
MBB.
> I hope everyone weighs in on these options and I hope whatever
ultimate decisions are made they are ones with the greatest buy-in
from county birders in both counties so that rarities at least are
communicated to every one as close in real time as possible.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Sep 25, 2019, at 11:18 AM, Don Roberson
<creagrus...> wrote:
>>
>> ´╗┐Clay et al. -- this might be a good idea, but MBB readers would
need to understand that eBird alerts are "unfiltered" and can often
include mistaken identications and protocol mistakes made by newbies
or out-of-towners.
>>
>> Monterey County has 5 separate eBird filters, four on land and one
for pelagics.┬ The way the GIS works for the pelagic filter is that
anything reported on salt water (of what the GIS reads as salt water,
and that can include beaches), pulls up the pelagic filter that is
meant for boat trips more than 2 miles offshore, and those excludes
landbirds and inshore pelagic birds.┬ We've created Hot Spots that
usually avoid these problems, but whenever an eBirder, often a
visitor, creates a "personal location" that the GIS layer reads as
salt water, suddenly a whole bunch of common birds are on the eBird
Alerts.┬ It is easy to tell when that happens when suddenly Pelagic
Cormorant, Pigeon Guillemot, Barn Swallow, Rock Dove, or Brewer's
Blackbird is listed a new "rarities" on the Alert. Someone out of town
this week created a "personal location" at Bird Rock in Pebble Beach
-- instead of using the Hot Spot readily available -- and the GIS read
his spot as "ocean" and Cal Scrub-Jay, American Crow, Brewer's
Blackbird, and Black Phoebe were found on that day's "rarity alert."
>>
>> Double-crested Cormorants and Common Mergansers often get caught in
the filter, because the Monterey Peninsula filter includes Seaside and
Carmel as well as Monterey and Pacific Grove.┬ DC Cormorant has big
roosts at Laguna Grande, Del Monte Lake. and Roberts Lake, but the
filter is set at 12 because, from years of experience now as an
editor, I know that many out-of-towners will claim all the cormorants
at Pt. Pinos as Double-crests because it is the one they "expect" to
see where they live in the East or South. Unless constrained by the
filter, we'd have to spend hours weeking out mistaken huge counts for
Double-crests at Pt. Pinos or Pebble Beach.┬ So the local eBirders
just have to live with the fact that counts of 30 Double-crests are
not rare in Seaside, but will be posted as a rarity on the eBird
alert.┬ Same problem for Common Merganser and Common Raven -- both
regular at Carmel River lagoon -- but rare elsewhere on the
Peninsula.┬ Out-of-towners routinely report female Red-breasted
Mergansers in Monterey harbor or Pt. Pinos as "Common Merganser" [ as
will claim crows in P.G. or Monterey as ravens] -- and the only way to
avoid a lot of mis-identifications being shown on the maps is to set
the Peninsula filter for Common Merganser and Raven filters at zero.
>>
>> On top of all this, any eBird user -- particularly beginning users
-- can be prone to typos or mistakes. One person on Rick Fournier's
tour who got to see the great Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher at Pt. Lobos
was so unfamiliar with rarities that she reported it as
"Yellow-bellied Flycatcher" on her list, and that got on the alerts.
We've had new eBirders use the name of a bird from Asia, by mistake or
ignorance of common birds, and those get on the alerts.┬ Every eBird
alert should come with the warning: "BEWARE. These are unverified
reports.┬ Use at your own risk."
>>
>> These are chronic and continuing problems, and this is just a
partial list.┬ The reader of eBird alerts needs to understand these
idiosyncrasies, but non eBird users are likely to be very confused by
these sorts of problems.
>>
>> This is something to think about when considering your
propositions.┬ Of course, any active birder can get a free eBird
account -- and subscribe to the Monterey County alerts -- without
having to do anything more.┬ They don't even need to use eBird to get
the alerts.┬ Such folks would need how to read eBird alerts, with the
problems outlined above -- but that might be easier than automatic
provision of sometimes very-confusing alerts to the general public.
>>
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